The New Jersey Sports Writers Association
was officially formed on Jan. 16, 1936 in Trenton when a group of sports writers statewide met to form a social group. Today, the NJSWA has over 150 members who are dedicated to delivering better, faster and more accurate news to the state's sports fans and mutual solitude to its members. The NJSWA's biggest annual project is its "Super Sunday" banquet honoring top performers and notables from the whole spectrum of sports.
Held in recent years at The Pines Manor, Route 27, Edison Township, the banquet has been attended by upwards of 1,000 people, making it arguably the largest annual non-political dinner in New Jersey. Through the years, while honoring the newsmakers in a public trIbute to the greatest sports personalities of the state and often the nation, the NJSWA banquet has also been the vehicle for making news itself.
In 1972, David "Sonny" Werblin chose the NJSWA banquet as the venue to announce his vision of a sports complex to be built in the Meadowlands area of East Rutherford. "The next morning, I received a phone call from Governor (William) Cahill," Werblin later said,"and I became the first chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority." Therest, of course, is history.
In 1982, Pittsburgh Steelers great Franco Harris appeared to recount details of "The Immaculate Reception," one of the most memorable moments in pro football history. In 2001, the 50th anniversary year of "The Shot Heard Round The World, Bobby Thomson's homer for the New York Giants off Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Thomson and Branca appeared at the NJSWA banquet to tell their stories of one of the greatest moments in baseball history.
NJSWA banquet honorees run the full gamut. One of the youngest was Elaine Zayak, world figure skating champion, then 16, in 1982. Perhaps the oldest was Olympic track great Abel Kiviat, silver medalist in the 1,500-meter run at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games, honored at age 91 in 1984. Such notables as Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Althea Gibson, Joe Paterno, Ara Parseghian,Tommy Lasorda, Mickey Walker, Joe Frazier, Jack McKeon, Larry Kelley, Milton Campbell, Joe Medwick, Dick Kazmaier, Alex Wojciechowicz, Doc Cramer, Horace Ashenfelter, Larry Doby, Willis Reed, Carol Blazejowski, Harry Carson, Nick Werkman, Cosmo Iacavazzi, Rick Barry, Bruce Baumgartner, Lou Piniella, Giorgio Chinaglia, Tom Heinsohn and Digger Phelps are just some of those honored at past editions of the NJSWA banquet.
The NJSWA's board of directors closely monitors the world of sports, statewide, nationally and internationally, and endeavors to invite the finest performers of them all to its annual banquet. Once again, an array of outstanding sports celebrities will be on hand at the NJSWA's 77th anniversary "Super Sunday" banquet on Sunday, January 20, 2013.
The banquet is open to all sports fans and members of the public. Full banquet ticket information is available elsewhere on this website. George O'Gorman of The Trentonian has served as president of NJSWA since 2010 replacing the late Dr. Emery Konick Jr. who served as president from 1990-2009, a period in which the association's annual banquet reached new heights of popularity, Past NJSWA presidents have been:
George O'Gorman, Trentonian, 2010-Present
Dr. Emery Konick Jr., The Home News Tribune, 1990-2009
Joe Logue, The Trentonian, 1984-90.
Chuck Triblehorn, Red Bank Register, 1978-84.
Ed Nicheterlein, Atlantic City Press, 1963-78.
Joe Lee, Asbury Park Press, 1961-62.
Herb Stutz, Newark Evening News, 1958-60.
Herb Nebel, Paterson Morning Call, 1957.
Carl Martin, Hudson Dispatch, 1955-56.
Joe McLaughlin, Newark Evening News, 1952-54.
Louis "Bud" Bauman, Elizabeth Journal, 1951.
George Lucas, Paterson Morning Call, 1949-50.
Sam Siciliano, Asbury Park Press, 1948.
Joe Lovas, Passaic Herald-News, 1947.
Louis Greenberg, Hudson Dispatch, 1946.
Sid Dorfman, Newark Star-Ledger, 1943-45.
Gene Pinter, New Brunswick Home News, 1942.
Bob Whiting, Paterson Morning Call, 1941.
Frank J. Fagan, Newark Star-Eagle, 1939-40,
Art McMahon, Passaic Herald, 1938.
Ed Hill, Asbury Park Press, 1937.
Paul Horowitz, Newark Evening News, 1936.